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How to update Realtek NIC drivers for The WHS Restore Disk

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How to restore when the server cannot be found

I developed a routine to make all the 32 bit and 64 bit Realtek drivers work.
Someone should add this to the WHS Wicki so it is easy to find

The WHS PC Restore procedure in the User guide does not work for the following Realtek NIC and all 64 bit machines


Here is what you must do.

Download the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver instead of the WinXP (WinServer 2003) Driver

Here is how I modified the Windows Home Server procedure so that it WORKS for any of the above Realtek NIC

Using the Windows Home Server Dual Boot Computer Restore Disk (Release Date 7/16/2008), the NIC drivers for the Realtek family of network cards will need to be manually updated using the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver.

The Windows Home Server restore CD will indicate the "NIC driver for the restore CD is present";
however, this driver WILL not work and there will be no network connectivity.
The solution is to download the drivers from the Realtek site and install them during the restore using
a USB key as outlined in the process below.

Note: Just passively placing the drivers in a folder on the USB key including the drivers from a previous backup as instructed in the Restore Disk User guide will not work as the existing drivers are already loaded. You must follow the steps below.

1. Download the network drivers from the Realtek Website:


a. Download the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver.

Note: I actually downloaded all the Windows XP and Vista drivers (4 differentSets) and deleted all the
drivers marked 64 bit

2. Extract all the zip files onto the ROOT of a USB flash without a folder and plug the USB flash into the client PC.

3. Apply the downloaded NIC driver with Windows Home Server Restore CD

a. On the detect hardware screen, select the appropriate time/currency format and keyboard/input method

b. Detect hardware dialog will detect the Realtek network device RTL8168C/8111C Family PCI-E
Gigibit ethernet NIC NDIS 6.0 but it will not be usable because of hardware and driver incompatibility.

c. Manually update the driver from the USB flash

i. Select the “Show Details…” button

ii. Press the “Install Drivers…”

iii. Push “Scan” button to scan for new/updated d rives

iv. A dialogue box will pop up:

"Drivers were found for your hardware. Click OK to see all detected hardware."

vi. Select OK

d. Verify that you have updated the Network driver.

You should now see your specific NIC hardware listed in the “Detect Hardware” dialog screen as
Realtek PCIe GBE family Controller.

Continue following the restore disk prompts

Stew Gordon

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It's good to see someone spending the time to type out the steps in details - it makes it so much easier for anyone not familiar with the exercise.

A minor point - it doesn't matter where on the USB drive (i.e. root or higher-level directory) you put the drivers. As long as only Vista 32 bit are on the drive.
(I went through a similar exercise http://forum.wegotse...showtopic=8913)

Drashna Jaelre (WGS)

Drashna Jaelre (WGS)


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I believe there is a KB on the microsoft website about it. But either way, it should be added. There is also a way to integrate the drivers into the restore disk itself, so you don't need to "find" the drivers.

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